Ethiopia crisis: Arrest warrants for officers amid Tigray fighting

Publishedduration22 minutes agomedia captionEthiopia's federal authorities deny reports that civilians were targeted during air strikes in Mekelle.

Ethiopia has issued arrest warrants for 76 army officers accused of being linked to the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF).

Forces loyal to that party are fighting the government in the restive Tigray region.

Ethiopia's prime minister has said that his army is advancing on its capital, Mekelle.

Hundreds have reportedly died and tens of thousands have fled the area after two weeks of clashes.

Verifying information from Tigray is hard because of a blackout on most communications.

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The conflict is rooted in long-standing tension between powerful regional party the TPLF and Ethiopia's central government.

When Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed postponed a national election because of coronavirus in June, tension escalated between the two groups. The TPLF sees the central government as illegitimate, arguing Mr Abiy no longer has a mandate to lead the country.

The government accused the TPLF of attacking a military base to steal weapons, which the TPLF denied. In response, Mr Abiy ordered a military offensive, accusing the TPLF of treason.

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